Massacre At Wounded Knee

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Massacre at Wounded Knee

Thesis statement

The Wounded Knee Massacre symbolizes not only a climax of a clash of heritage but furthermore the end of the American frontier.

History (The ghost dance)

A phenomena cleared the American west in 1888 by Paiute holy man Wovoka from Nevada. Wovoka, child of the mystic Tavibo, drew on his father's teachings and his own dream during an eclipse of the sun. He started dispersing the "gospel" that came to be known as the Ghost promenade Religion. He asserted that the earth would soon perish and then come living again in an untainted, aboriginal state, to be inherited by the Indians, encompassing the dead, for an eternal existence free from suffering. (Cayton P.19)

To profit from this new truth, although, Indians had to live harmoniously and frankly and shun the ways of the whites, especially alcoholic beverage, the destroyer. Wovoka furthermore discouraged the perform of mourning, because the dead would soon be revived, requiring rather than the presentation of prayers, meditation, chanting, and particularly promenading through which one might briefly pass away and apprehend a glimpse of the paradise-to-come, replete with lush green prairie lawn, large buffalo herds and Indian ancestors. Kicking accept, a Miniconjou Teton Lakota, made a pilgrimage to Nevada to discover about this new "religion". (Cheatham P.23)


The Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890 (which was initially referred to by the United States armed detachment as the assault of Wounded Knee a descriptive moniker that remains highly challenged by the Native American community) is known as the happening that completed the last of the Indian conflicts in America. As the year came to a close, the Seventh Cavalry of the United States Army brought a horrific end to the century-long U.S. government-Indian armed conflicts. (

On the bone-chilling forenoon of December 29, devotees of the newly conceived Ghost Dance belief made a long trek to the Pine Ridge booking in southwestern South Dakota to seek defense from infantry apprehension. (Dewing P.35) Members of the Miniconjou Sioux (Lakota) tribe led by Chief Big Foot and the Hunkpapa Sioux (Lakota) followers of the recently slain charismatic leader, Sitting Bull, attempted to escape arrest by fleeing south through the rugged terrain of the Badlands. ( There, on the snowy banks of hurt Knee Creek (Cankpe Opi Wakpala), nearly 300 Lakota men, women, and young kids vintage and juvenile were massacred in a highly charged, brutal meet with U.S. soldiers. The memory of that day still evokes fervent emotional and politicized answers from present-day Native Americans and their supporters. Although it did bring an end to the Ghost Dance belief, it did not, although, comprise the demise of the Lakota heritage, which still thrives today. (Wicks P.12)


White agents became alerted at the religious fervor and in December 1890 banned the Ghost Dance on Lakota reservations. When the rites proceeded, agents called in troops to Pine Ridge and Rosebud bookings in South Dakota. The military, commanded by veteran General Nelson Miles, equipped itself for another campaign. (Brown P.25)

The presence of the troops exacerbated the ...
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